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Origins: Dona Nobis Pacem (round)

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masato sakurai 27 Dec 04 - 12:03 PM
Mooh 27 Dec 04 - 01:39 PM
Joe Offer 27 Dec 04 - 02:51 PM
masato sakurai 27 Dec 04 - 09:54 PM
Q 28 Dec 04 - 01:14 AM
Kaleea 28 Dec 04 - 01:51 AM
Q 28 Dec 04 - 02:51 PM
Mooh 28 Dec 04 - 04:17 PM
Q 28 Dec 04 - 07:33 PM
Q 29 Dec 04 - 01:29 PM
Helen 11 Mar 10 - 04:02 PM
Joe Offer 11 Mar 10 - 04:18 PM
GUEST 22 Oct 13 - 05:28 PM
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Subject: Origins: Dona Nobis Pacem (round)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 12:03 PM

Does anyone know where, when, and by whom this round was composed? The Hymnal 1982 Companion (vol. IIIB, p. 1326 [no. 712]) says:
Music: The origin of the music for the round DONA NOBIS PACEM is not known. In most collections it is simply labeled "traditional." Estimates of its date range from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries. Its musical style, however, would seem to indicate an origin no earlier than the eighteenth or nineteenth century.
~Masato


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dona Nobis Pacem (round)
From: Mooh
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 01:39 PM

I looked for the same information a while back when I was working out a guitar arrangement of DNP for beginners. No luck. I don't suppose Google will find much but I think I'll have a look again. Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dona Nobis Pacem (round)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 02:51 PM

Sol Weber's Rounds Galore (the best rounds book I know) says it's German, but that's all. In (1985), Esther Nelson says it was composed by Palestrina in the 16th century. Don't know if I believe that, but maybe it's a start. My guess is the author is "anonymous" - but it does sound German to me.
-Joe Offer-

This Google Search (click) will take you to a number of sites that will convince you that the author is NOT Palestrina. The explanation on this site from the The DeKalb (Georgia) Choral Guild was particularly good:
    Dona Nobis Pacem
    The melody of Dona Nobis Pacem, as performed for this concert, is sung as a "round," the common name for a circle canon, or a canon in which each singer returns from the end of a melody to its beginning, then repeats it ad libitum. The melody of a round consists of sections of equal length which are designed to make good harmony when sung together. This particular round is often attributed to Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, who chose to be known by the name of his native town. Though rounds were popular in Palestrina's day -- the English round "Three Blind Mice" first appeared in print c. 1600 - it is unlikely that he wrote Dona Nobis Pacem. On the word "nobis,"when first sung, is heard the melodic leap of a 7th, the distance of seven steps between two notes. Such an interval, expressive though it might be, was considered dissonant or "disagreeable" in Palestrina's time and would have been avoided by so conservative a composer. The connection still holds, however. May you be pleased with our singing!


Dona nobis pacem (Grant Us Peace) is the last phrase from the Agnus Dei litany
that is sung before Communion in the Ordinary of the Mass:
Agnus Dei,
qui tollis peccata mundi
Miserere nobis.

Agnus Dei,
qui tollis peccata mundi
Miserere nobis.

Agnus Dei,
qui tollis peccata mundi
Dona nobis pacem.
Lamb of God,
who take(s) away the sins of the world
Have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,
who take(s) away the sins of the world
Have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,
who take(s) away the sins of the world
Grant us peace.
    Note that in the Mass for the Dead, the ending is Dona eis requiem and Dona eis requiem sempiternam (Grant them rest / Grant them eternal rest).


This page (click) has the notation and a MIDI for Dona Nobis Pacem - and a number of other rounds.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dona Nobis Pacem (round)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 09:54 PM

Thanks, Mooh and Joe.

According to D. DeWitt Wasson, ed., Hymntune Index and Related Hymn Materials, vol. II (Lanham, Maryland & London: Scarecrow Press, 1998, p. 1081), it was composed in the "16th c." (with no further info to verify it). The tune cannot be found in The Hymn Tune Index (A Census of English-Language Hymn Tunes in Printed Sources from 1535 to 1820). Presumably, the Germans do not know its origin either; no info is given in Evangelisches Gesangbuch (1995, no. 435).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dona Nobis Pacem (round)
From: Q
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 01:14 AM

Very difficult to pin down, perhaps not possible.
I have a number of 16th-17th century masses on cd and several have very complicated arrangements of the last phrase of the Agnus Dei, Dona nobis pacem, with the voices cascading all over the place, that would drive modern choir singers, used to the simpler arrangements of the baroque composers, to find other occupation. Pope Marcellus complained that the singing was not understandable to the worshipers and that highly trained (thus expensive) singers were necessary. Religious choral music became simpler as a result of his recommendations.

None of the masses I have, however, turn Dona nobis pacem into a canon, or round, and I wonder if any of the 16th-17th c. composers, including Palestrina, would have arranged it in that fashion.

A couple of websites indicate that Bach made quite a production of the final Dona nobis pacem in his Mass in B Minor, but if he made the round, I think that would be common knowledge.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dona Nobis Pacem (round)
From: Kaleea
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 01:51 AM

Before there was harmony as we know it, there was only unison (with the occasional octave, of course) plainsong. It was quite common a little later for a given tune or chant to be sung in canon, thus creating harmony from plainsong. I have never seen anything to identify a composer for this particular Dona Nobis Pacem, nor a date. However, to my ear it does not sound at all like the work of Palestrina. I am now quite curious to find out if anyone knows the origin or date.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dona Nobis Pacem (round)
From: Q
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 02:51 PM

Agreed, Stylistically the canon is wrong for the Agnus Dei of the 16th c. composers of masses, including Palestrina.
The tune for the canon is the tenor part of one arrangement that I found.

Was it fitted to a pre-existing piece of music? No reason to assume that the tune currently used was composed with the canon.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dona Nobis Pacem (round)
From: Mooh
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 04:17 PM

Just an aside...I found DNP attributed to "anomynous" in a book of "classical" themes published by Hal Leonard. Do the big publishers, of which Hal Leonard must be a giant, take reasonable care to search out authorship? Methinks it would be a great job for a researcher. Or do they just rehash previous wisdom, however inaccurate, and claim copyright?

For what it's worth, DNP is a pretty good tune for string players to learn ensemble playing without playing the same part, and for fingerstyle guitarists to play to give the thumb and fingers very different jobs.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dona Nobis Pacem (round)
From: Q
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 07:33 PM

Here are some chords;

(C)Dona (G7)nobis (C)pacem, (G7)pacem; (F)dona (C)nobis (G7)pa-(C)cem
Do(G7)na (C)nobis (G7)pacem, (F)dona (C)nobis (G7)pa-(C)cem
Do(G7)na (C)nobis (G7)pacem, (F)dona (C)nobis (G7)pa-(C)cem


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dona Nobis Pacem (round)
From: Q
Date: 29 Dec 04 - 01:29 PM

I have to retract the 'stylistically wrong' remark I made. As someone once said, a little knowledge only contributes to ignorance.

Listening to "Missa Pange lingua" by Josquin des Prés, his Agnus Dei III seems to place the final 'Dona nobis pacem' into a round. The four voices, with countertenor and soprano voices embellishing the words, are a little difficult to understand, hence my uncertainty.
Josquin lived from c. 1440-1521. (The Tallis Scholars, Gimell 454 909-2)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dona Nobis Pacem (round)
From: Helen
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 04:02 PM

When I was in high school, way back in the dim distant past, I studied Latin. One year all of the language classes were asked to sing songs for a school occasion in the languages we were studying. The Latin class sang a couple of Christmas carols, the theme from Exodus (translated into Latin - mea terra, deus mihi dedit etc, or something like that), and Dona Nobis Pacem, which I loved immediately and have loved ever since. I think the melody is simple yet beautiful, sung as a melody and not as a canon, but I like the canon too.

Maybe someone later had the bright idea to sing it as a canon, rather than it being originally composed as a canon.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dona Nobis Pacem (round)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 04:18 PM

Mary Donnelly wrote a "partner song" for Dona Nobis Pacem. It's called Song of Peace.

I found sheet music here (PDF), so I'll see if I can come up with a MIDI.

SONG OF PEACE
(A partner song with "Dona Nobis Pacem")

(Mary Donnelly, arranged by George L.O.Strid in 1991)

If I could have one wish come true,
It would be peace for me and you.
Peace in our hearts and peace of mind;
Peace now and ever for all man-kind
So may our voices never cease
So may we sing our songs of peace

Click to play


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dona Nobis Pacem (round)
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Oct 13 - 05:28 PM

Dona Nobis Pacem means grant us peace. We just want to sing our songs in peace with perfect harmony and forever more may we ing forever with all of peace and holly sins.


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